This Sunday marks the 2 year anniversary of my RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) diagnosis. In some ways, my diagnosis still feels fresh; in other ways, it feels like a distant memory. I've certainly come far in the last 2 years and am so thankful that my disease is managed. I had a surreal moment of reflection after my triathlon last Sunday. I thought back on my first appointment with a rheumatologist. The waiting room had all sorts of depressing magazines about disease management and such, but in the pile of magazines, I found one that featured an elite triathlete with RA. At the time, I was in a boot and in so much pain so it was hard to believe that maybe I'd consider myself an athlete again. But I remember feeling a sense of hope when I read the story about her.
Now, 2 years later I've completed my first triathlon and I can confidently say that I am an athlete again. I'm training for a marathon which is something I thought I'd never have the opportunity to do again. I'm pain free, for the most part, and thriving.
But of course, it isn't all sunshine and rainbows. I hate how many bottles of pills reside on my counter. I hate that I get so many prescription refill reminders from Target that I can't keep track of which request is for which medication. And I really hate Monday nights when I have to give myself my weekly injection. On those nights I try to remind myself that a minute of discomfort is worth being pain free but I still mope quite a bit and usually have to find some sort of reward - usually a sweet of some sort. I hate that aches and pains that wouldn't get much of a second thought plant the seed of worry over whether that pain is the first sign of a flare up.
And yet - in the grand scheme of things - life is good. Life is really, really good. I try to remind myself that while I was unlucky to get diagnosed with this chronic disease, I am lucky that it was caught so early and is being managed so well. Some days it's hard to think of myself as "lucky," but I know I am.
The past year was an uneventful one for me health-wise and I just hope and pray that I have many more years like this to come!